Demographic and Health Survey (Standard) - DHS VII
The primary objective of the 2018 NDHS is to provide up-to-date estimates of basic demographic and health indicators. Specifically, the NDHS collected information on fertility, awareness and use of family planning methods, breastfeeding practices, nutritional status of women and children, maternal and child health, adult and childhood mortality, women’s empowerment, domestic violence, female genital cutting, prevalence of malaria, awareness and behaviour regarding HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), disability, and other health-related issues such as smoking.
The information collected through the 2018 NDHS is intended to assist policymakers and programme managers in evaluating and designing programmes and strategies for improving the health of the country’s population. The 2018 NDHS also provides indicators relevant to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for Nigeria.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
Children age 0-5
Woman age 15-49
Man age 15-49
The data dictionary was generated from hierarchical data that was downloaded from the The DHS Program website (http://dhsprogram.com).
The 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey covered the following topics:
• Usual members and visitors in the selected households
• Background information on each person listed, such as relationship to head of the household, age, sex, marital status, survivorship and residence of bilogical parents, highest educational attainment, and birth registration
• Characteristics of the household's dwelling unit, such as the source of water, type of toilet facilities, type of fuel used for cooking, materials used for the floor, roof and walls of the house, and possessions of durable goods and mosquito nets
• Background characteristics (including age, education, and media exposure)
• Birth history and child mortality
• Knowledge, use, and source of family planning methods
• Antenatal, delivery, and postnatal care
• Vaccinations and childhood illnesses
• Breastfeeding and infant feeding practices
• Women’s minimum dietary diversity
• Marriage and sexual activity
• Fertility preferences (including desire for more children and ideal number of children)
• Women’s work and husbands’ background characteristics
• Knowledge, awareness, and behaviour regarding HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
• Knowledge, attitudes, and behaviour related to other health issues (e.g., smoking)
• Female genital cutting
• Adult and maternal mortality
• Domestic violence
• Respondent background
• Marriage and sexual activity
• Fertility preferences
• Employment and gender roles
• Other health issues
• Weight, height and hemoglobin, genotype, and malaria measurement for children age 0-5
• Weight, height, and hemoglobin measurement for women age 15-49
The survey covered all de jure household members (usual residents), all women aged 15-49 years resident in the household, and all children aged 0-5 years resident in the household.
Producers and sponsors
National Population Commission (NPC)
Federal Government of Nigeria
National Malaria Elimination Programme
Ministry of Health
Collaboration in implementing the survey
The DHS Program
Provided technical assistance
Federal Government of Nigeria
United States Agency for International Development
Global Fund, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
United Nations Population Fund
World Health Organisation
The sampling frame used for the 2018 NDHS is the Population and Housing Census of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (NPHC), which was conducted in 2006 by the National Population Commission. Administratively, Nigeria is divided into states. Each state is subdivided into local government areas (LGAs), and each LGA is divided into wards. In addition to these administrative units, during the 2006 NPHC each locality was subdivided into convenient areas called census enumeration areas (EAs). The primary sampling unit (PSU), referred to as a cluster for the 2018 NDHS, is defined on the basis of EAs from the 2006 EA census frame. Although the 2006 NPHC did not provide the number of households and population for each EA, population estimates were published for 774 LGAs. A combination of information from cartographic material demarcating each EA and the LGA population estimates from the census was used to identify the list of EAs, estimate the number of households, and distinguish EAs as urban or rural for the survey sample frame. Before sample selection, all localities were classified separately into urban and rural areas based on predetermined minimum sizes of urban areas (cut-off points); consistent with the official definition in 2017, any locality with more than a minimum population size of 20,000 was classified as urban.
The sample for the 2018 NDHS was a stratified sample selected in two stages. Stratification was achieved by separating each of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory into urban and rural areas. In total, 74 sampling strata were identified. Samples were selected independently in every stratum via a two-stage selection. Implicit stratifications were achieved at each of the lower administrative levels by sorting the sampling frame before sample selection according to administrative order and by using a probability proportional to size selection during the first sampling stage.
For further details on sample selection, see Appendix A of the final report.
A total of 41,668 households were selected for the sample, of which 40,666 were occupied. Of the occupied households, 40,427 were successfully interviewed, yielding a response rate of 99%. In the households interviewed, 42,121 women age 15-49 were identified for individual interviews; interviews were completed with 41,821 women, yielding a response rate of 99%. In the subsample of households selected for the male survey, 13,422 men age 15-59 were identified and 13,311 were successfully interviewed, yielding a response rate of 99%.
The design weights were adjusted for household non-response and individual non-response to obtain the sampling weights for households and for women and men, respectively. Non-response is adjusted at the sampling stratum level. For the household sampling weight, the household design weight is multiplied by the inverse of the household response rate by stratum. For women’s individual sampling weight, the household sampling weight is multiplied by the inverse of women’s individual response rate by stratum. After adjusting for non-response, the sampling weights are normalized to obtain the final standard weights that appear in the data files. The normalization process is done to obtain a total number of unweighted cases equal to the total number of weighted cases at the national level for the total number of households, women, and men. Normalization is done by multiplying the sampling weight by the estimated sampling fraction obtained from the survey for the household weight and the individual women’s and men’s weights. The normalized weights are relative weights that are valid for estimating means, proportions, ratios, and rates but are not valid for estimating population totals or for pooled data. A special weight for domestic violence was calculated that accounts for the selection of one woman per household.
Four questionnaires were used for the 2018 NDHS: the Household Questionnaire, the Woman’s Questionnaire, the Man’s Questionnaire, and the Biomarker Questionnaire. The questionnaires, based on The DHS Program’s standard Demographic and Health Survey (DHS-7) questionnaires, were adapted to reflect the population and health issues relevant to Nigeria. Comments were solicited from various stakeholders representing government ministries and agencies, nongovernmental organisations, and international donors. In addition, information about the fieldworkers for the survey was collected through a self-administered Fieldworker Questionnaire.
Dates of Data Collection
National Population Commission
Federal Government of Nigeria
Data Collection Notes
The fieldwork for the 2018 NDHS was launched under close supervision on 14 August 2018 in the clusters in the six zonal take-off centres. Thirty-seven teams, each consisting of one supervisor, one field editor, two male interviewers, three female interviewers, one lab scientist, and one nurse, were assigned across the different clusters in the zones. The teams were closely monitored by the state coordinators and the quality controllers. After completion of the fieldwork in the zonal take-off centres in the first week, all of the teams were brought back to the zonal office for a review session where they had an opportunity to clarify any questions they had. The teams were then dispatched to their respective states. Data collection lasted until 29 December 2018. The fieldwork in some states took longer than expected due to the security situation.
Fieldwork monitoring was an integral part of the 2018 NDHS, and several rounds of monitoring were carried out by the NDHS core team, the state coordinators from the NPC and NMEP, and ICF staff. The monitors were provided with guidelines for overseeing the fieldwork. Weekly field check tables were generated from the completed interviews sent to the central office to monitor fieldwork progress, and regular feedback was sent out to the teams.
The processing of the 2018 NDHS data began almost immediately after the fieldwork started. As data collection was completed in each cluster, all electronic data files were transferred via the IFSS to the NPC central office in Abuja. These data files were registered and checked for inconsistencies, incompleteness, and outliers. The field teams were alerted to any inconsistencies and errors. Secondary editing, carried out in the central office, involved resolving inconsistencies and coding the open-ended questions. The NPC data processor coordinated the exercise at the central office. The biomarker paper questionnaires were compared with electronic data files to check for any inconsistencies in data entry. Data entry and editing were carried out using the CSPro software package. The concurrent processing of the data offered a distinct advantage because it maximised the likelihood of the data being error-free and accurate. Timely generation of field check tables allowed for effective monitoring. The secondary editing of the data was completed in the second week of April 2019.
Estimates of Sampling Error
The estimates from a sample survey are affected by two types of errors: nonsampling errors and sampling errors. Nonsampling errors are the results of mistakes made in implementing data collection and data processing, such as failure to locate and interview the correct household, misunderstanding of the questions on the part of either the interviewer or the respondent, and data entry errors. Although numerous efforts were made during the implementation of the 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) to minimise this type of error, nonsampling errors are impossible to avoid and difficult to evaluate statistically.
Sampling errors, on the other hand, can be evaluated statistically. The sample of respondents selected in the 2018 NDHS is only one of many samples that could have been selected from the same population, using the same design and expected size. Each of these samples would yield results that differ somewhat from the results of the actual sample selected. Sampling errors are a measure of the variability among all possible samples. Although the degree of variability is not known exactly, it can be estimated from the survey results.
Sampling error is usually measured in terms of the standard error for a particular statistic (mean, percentage, etc.), which is the square root of the variance. The standard error can be used to calculate confidence intervals within which the true value for the population can reasonably be assumed to fall. For example, for any given statistic calculated from a sample survey, the value of that statistic will fall within a range of plus or minus two times the standard error of that statistic in 95% of all possible samples of identical size and design.
If the sample of respondents had been selected as a simple random sample, it would have been possible to use straightforward formulas for calculating sampling errors. However, the 2018 NDHS sample is the result of a multistage stratified design, and, consequently, it was necessary to use more complex formulas. Sampling errors are computed in SAS, using programs developed by ICF. These programs use the Taylor linearisation method to estimate variances for survey estimates that are means, proportions, or ratios. The Jackknife repeated replication method is used for variance estimation of more complex statistics such as fertility and mortality rates.
Note: A more detailed description of estimates of sampling errors are presented in APPENDIX B of the survey report.
Data Quality Tables
Household age distribution
Age distribution of eligible and interviewed women
Age distribution of eligible and interviewed men
Completeness of reporting
Births by calendar years
Reporting of age at death in days
Reporting of age at death in months
Standardisation exercise results from anthropometry training
Height and weight data completeness and quality for children
Height measurements from random subsample of measured children
Sibship size and sex ratio of siblings
Pregnancy-related mortality trends
Data collection period
Malaria prevalence according to rapid diagnostic test (RDT)
Note: See detailed data quality tables in APPENDIX C of the report.
Request Dataset Access
The following applies to DHS, MIS, AIS and SPA survey datasets (Surveys, GPS, and HIV).
To request dataset access, you must first be a registered user of the website. You must then create a new research project request. The request must include a project title and a description of the analysis you propose to perform with the data.
The requested data should only be used for the purpose of the research or study. To request the same or different data for another purpose, a new research project request should be submitted. The DHS Program will normally review all data requests within 24 hours (Monday - Friday) and provide notification if access has been granted or additional project information is needed before access can be granted.
DATASET ACCESS APPROVAL PROCESS
Access to DHS, MIS, AIS and SPA survey datasets (Surveys, HIV, and GPS) is requested and granted by country. This means that when approved, full access is granted to all unrestricted survey datasets for that country. Access to HIV and GIS datasets requires an online acknowledgment of the conditions of use.
A dataset request must include contact information, a research project title, and a description of the analysis you propose to perform with the data.
A few datasets are restricted and these are noted. Access to restricted datasets is requested online as with other datasets. An additional consent form is required for some datasets, and the form will be emailed to you upon authorization of your account. For other restricted surveys, permission must be granted by the appropriate implementing organizations, before The DHS Program can grant access. You will be emailed the information for contacting the implementing organizations. A few restricted surveys are authorized directly within The DHS Program, upon receipt of an email request.
When The DHS Program receives authorization from the appropriate organizations, the user will be contacted, and the datasets made available by secure FTP.
GPS/HIV Datasets/Other Biomarkers
Once downloaded, the datasets must not be passed on to other researchers without the written consent of The DHS Program. All reports and publications based on the requested data must be sent to The DHS Program Data Archive in a Portable Document Format (pdf) or a printed hard copy.
Datasets are made available for download by survey. You will be presented with a list of surveys for which you have been granted dataset access. After selecting a survey, a list of all available datasets for that survey will be displayed, including all survey, GPS, and HIV data files. However, only data types for which you have been granted access will be accessible. To download, simply click on the files that you wish to download and a "File Download" prompt will guide you through the remaining steps.
Use of the dataset must be acknowledged using a citation which would include:
the Identification of the Primary Investigator
the title of the survey (including country, acronym and year of implementation)
the survey reference number
the source and date of download
Disclaimer and copyrights
The user of the data acknowledges that the original collector of the data, the authorized distributor of the data, and the relevant funding agency bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.
Information about The DHS Program
The DHS Program
The DHS Program
Data and Data Related Resources
The DHS Program
DDI Document ID
Development Economics Data Group
The World Bank
Documentation of the DDI
Date of Metadata Production
DDI Document version
Version 01 (November 2019). Metadata is excerpted from "Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey 2018" Report.